Jostein Nygard on the 1938 World Cup

From today’s Guardian:

Meanwhile, Jostein NygÃ¥rd writes from Norway, who, he claims, are still sore about how they were eliminated from the 1938 World Cup. “Fresh from a bronze medal at the 1936 Olympics, we were drawn against the tournament favourites and holders, Italy,” moans Jostein. “They took an early lead as expected, but then Norway took control, eventually equalizing through Arne Brustad seven minutes from time. A few minutes later Brustad scored another – or so everyone thought. But, outrageously, the referee disallowed it for a non-existent offside. Italy went on to win 2-1 in extra-time. The referee – Alois Beranek – was an Austrian representing Germany and, given the close ties between the Nazi party and the Italian fascists, many questions were raised.

Until recently, there was Youtube evidence to back up Nygard’s claims, now mysteriously suppressed… but we are left with these extended clips from the ’38 Final between Italy and Hungary, which are well worth your time. The truth of the matter is that, corruption notwithstanding, Pozzo’s Italy were in all likelihood the best team in the world at their time, surpassed only in the post-War period by the 46-48 England side.